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by Jay Traugott
Kia is expanding into German luxury territory, thieves just keep stealing the Honda Accord, and VW is considering to enter F1.
It's been an exciting week in the auto industry as this year's exclusive Concours d'Elegance at Pebble Beach has come and gone. Some new auction records were set by some of the most sought after and collectible cars on the planet. These include an array of classic Ferraris and even a few Ford GT40s, one of which sold for $11 million. As the summer winds down and as we get closer to Paris, we expect for there to be an increasing amount of 2013 model debuts in the coming weeks.
Fisker to Recall Karma After Fire. Last week the Fisker was back in the headlines due to a Karma that caught fire suddenly in Woodside, California. After investigating, the automaker has issued a recall for 2,400 Karmas across the US. Fisker says that the spontaneous combustion of that particular Karma was because of a low temperature cooling fan in front of the left front wheel that has "an internal fault that caused it to fail, overheat and start a slow burning fire." In other words, the plug-in hybrid's battery pack is supposedly not to blame. The investigation was done by Fisker engineers who worked with an independent fire investigator.
Kia Going for Mercedes Territory? It's nothing new that South Korean automakers are going ahead at full throttle in terms of aggressive and well-priced new products. Just look at where Hyundai, for example, is now compared to only a dozen years ago. And now its sister company, Kia is rumored to be planning a Mercedes-CLS competitor. Perhaps the earliest sign of this bold mission was the automaker's GT Concept, first shown at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. Powered by a turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 with 390 horsepower, the concept's styling inside and out was striking. If things go as planned, we could see a production version for 2016.
Most Stolen Car for 2011 Is... The 1994 Honda Accord - again. For the fourth consecutive year, the popular family car has once again been declared the most frequently car stolen in the US. All told, some 7,596 Accords in 2011 were stolen, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Coming in second place was the 1998 Honda Civic and it was the seventh straight year in which the top two spots were Honda models. So why these two? Simply because car thieves are aware of which cars are reliable. Newer Hondas are apparently more difficult to steal because of technology added by Honda making them harder to hot-wire.
Lincoln: #1 in Customer Satisfaction Survey. While it's in desperate need of more exciting models, Lincoln at least has one thing going well for it: customer satisfaction. In the just released American Customer Satisfaction Index's annual survey, Lincoln beat out rivals such as Cadillac, Lexus and even BMW for customers' evaluations of the quality of their cars. With a score of 90 on a 100-point index, the average score was 84 and Honda, Jeep, Ford and Nissan all fell below this number.This may sound good for Lincoln, but the survey may also reflect a loyal, but dwindling customer base.
Volkswagen Considering F1 Entry. Last week it was reported that Mercedes may opt out of F1 in the near future. But now a report claims that Volkswagen will enter the sport in 2015. The German automaker giant apparently became interested in F1 due to new regulations that mandated 1.6-liter turbocharged V6s for 2014. Even more interesting is that VW may enter F1 with current F1 team Sauber as a partner. For now VW and Sauber aren't making any details public, but another German report not only confirms the talks but also says that VW is also interested in building its own chassis designed at the Porsche Motorsport Centre.